Sooner, Not Later:

There have been three Joint Requirements Oversight Council sessions recently on the subject of the Air Force’s bid to be executive agent for unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for ISR. Deptula, who has long advocated that the Air Force assume executive agent status for UAVs, told defense writers in Washington yesterday he wants to set the record straight: USAF ‘s main goals, he said, are to simply get some efficiency out of five similar UAV programs and “standardize their output” to a network all can use. Requirements for the Air Force MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper and the Army Warrior are similar, as are the Air Force Global Hawk and the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance—something lawmakers have recognized. USAF doesn’t want to own them all, he said; it just wants to keep them from running into each other and into manned aircraft in the combat airspace. Deptula noted that USAF is willing to “work it out in the JROC,” and that “the issue is moving forward.” He expects a resolution “sooner rather than later,” but gave no ballpark estimate. Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley made a similar comment earlier this week.